BBC iPlayer adds Twitter and Facebook to socialise TV

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The BBC’s video on demand service, iPlayer is introducing social networking features which should further boost the uptale of Twitter and Facebook in the UK – as if they needed any boosting. The new iPlayer Beta is set to go live officially at the end of June.

Twitter, Facebook and Windows Live Messenger will be linked to a user’s “BBC ID” which they get when they register on BBC.co.uk. Users will be able to share what they’re watching over social networks (queue lots of “Watching Britains Got Talent” updates) while Windows Messenger will show in real-time how many minutes a user is in to a program on iPlayer and allow them to sync viewing with friends and chat about the show in realtime. The features will also work for BBC radio stations.

Quite why the BBC went for Messenger is so far unexplained. It does have a lage UK uptake. But it’s worth noting that tech supremo Eric Huggers is an ex-Microsoft executive.

iPlayer will also now have customisable modules which can be moved around by the user, similar to Google’s iGoogle page. A new recommendation system will suggesting programs based on viewing habits, Tivo-like and will even suggest content from rival channels like ITV Player, 4OD, Clic, SeeSaw and Demand Five. No Sky as yet, who are considering their options.

UPDATE: It appears that iPlayer sucks in your whole social graph on Twitter without giving you much options.

  • http://joshrussell.com Josh Russell

    meebo would have made more sense as an IM platform to partner with, as it’s service agnostic. 1 step forward..

  • http://crunkfish.wordpress.com Simon Davies

    Whoops – Britain’s Got Talent is on ITV. Try “watching Doctor Who” instead. X x

  • http://www.moveinformant.co.uk Tony

    A while back I bought a domain name related to social tv. All of a sudden it seems no day passes without news of developments in this space. I was going to flog the domain but now it’s looking like a keeper.

  • http://jamiethomson.spaces.live.com/ Jamie Thomson

    “Quite why the BBC went for Messenger is so far unexplained”
    Possibly because, according to your report, they plan to do soemthing genuinely useful with it rather than publish inane “I’m watching Top Gear” messages to Twitter.

    • http://sqlblog.com/blogs/jamie_thomson Jamie Thomson

      And here’s more to the story of Messenger & iPlayer:

      http://www.marcmywords.org/post/BBC-iPlayer-in-the-Mesh.aspx

      The answers are out there – all it takes is a bit of research.

      • Angus Logan

        just to be clear – this is unrelated the demonstration which was done at Microsoft PDC, that link above is misleading.

  • http://www.pcartisan.com David1984

    BBC should have done this way ago. This will easily make them more famous on the Web

  • http://testingauto.myperfect.co.cc/?p=756 BBC iPlayer adds Twitter and Facebook to socialise TV « My Suk2 Blog

    […] See the article here: BBC iPlayer adds Twitter and Facebook to socialise TV […]

  • http://www.superfly.org.uk SuperFly

    Perhaps more to the point this is re-socialising tv.

    The anti-social nature of not communicating with people in the same room TV was always a shared experience, like theatre or going to the cinema. Plus, the next day everyone at work/school is sharing in what they thought about the previous evenings shows…

    But with TV on demand, tivo, web-tv, etc.. the social element has been diminished.

    Zane Lowe on BBC Radio one has a feature where over a period of weeks he will play an album in it’s entirety. The experience of sharing music collectively is extremely powerful and has proven very popular.

    This new iPlayer goes some way to redressing that social aspect of television.

    However, at the end of the day, it’d be a lot more profitable if we just sat down and had a chat about our day and how we feel about things just now.

    ;)

    TV has always been social… everybody had to watch

  • http://www.superfly.org.uk SuperFly

    Ignore the bit after the smiley in that previous post.. it was a bit I should have chopped oot! :)

  • http://www.fsuama.com/feeds/?p=3201 BBC iPlayer adds Twitter and Facebook to socialise TV (Mike Butcher/TechCrunch Europe) « My Blog

    […] Butcher / TechCrunch Europe: BBC iPlayer adds Twitter and Facebook to socialise TV  —  The BBC’s video on demand service, iPlayer is introducing social […]

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    Every major site will soon have a social networking section there site if that have not already got it. It is huge for the internet.

  • http://airbubblemedia.com/2010/05/bbc-iplayer-goes-social/ BBC iPlayer Goes Social | Airbubble Media - Web Video Production

    […] Article taken from Tech Crunch […]

  • purpleontime

    This sounds similar in concept to the cool “Friends Mosaic” app that ActiveVideo Networks was showing at the Cable Show this month: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5RxoCujRJ4

    Part of the iVOD concept that’s reshaping how TV is viewed…

  • Jem Stone

    Mike. Wondering if you could correct your last update based on the tweet from Nick Halstead and implication that users aren’t given “much options”.

    Nick has subsequently clarified his view about the choice that iPlayer gives you re: yr social graph.
    See his exchange with iPlayer product manager Simon Cross http://twitter.com/sicross or this tweet: http://twitter.com/nickhalstead/status/14761267270

    full detail of how the feature works here:
    https://id.bbc.co.uk/users/help/profile#profile.friendsconnected

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  • http://www.it-career-coach.net/ Kingsley Tagbo

    There are a lot of social TV features popping up around the web lately. I noticed it on a few of the biggest online TV websites that stream full episodes for free. You can chat with someone and watch at the same time, it is certainly an inevitable feature to come up with as TV viewing is becoming more and more common as a function of PCs. TV and computers are eventually going to be completely melded together, as you already see Twitter on Fios and new features every day that narrow the gap between television viewing and personal computing.

  • http://www.watchbbctv.com/index.php/2010/05/bbc-iplayer-adds-twitter-and-facebook-to-socialise-tv/ BBC iPlayer adds Twitter and Facebook to socialise TV | Watch BBC TV

    […] Techcrunch (europe) {dot} com […]

  • http://wearesocial.net/blog/2010/06/socials-tuesday-tweakup-3-2/ We Are Social’s Tuesday Tweakup #3 / we are social

    […] iPlayer adds Twitter and Facebook to socialise TV The BBC’s video on demand service, iPlayer, is launching iPlayer Beta at the end of June, allowing users to link their Twitter, Facebook and […]

  • http://transmediacamp101.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/bbc-iplayer-adds-twitter-and-facebook-to-socialise-tv/ BBC iPlayer adds Twitter and Facebook to socialise TV « Transmedia Camp 101

    […] BBC iPlayer adds Twitter and Facebook to socialise TV June 3, 2010 siobhanoflynn Leave a comment Go to comments via eu.techcrunch.com […]

  • http://smcdoyle.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/social-media-update-3/ Social Media Update « MemeMe

    […] new iPlayer Beta, set to go live at the end of June, will add social features to the BBC’s popular streaming service. Registered users will be able to tie in their […]

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    […] were not much of a success, companies are still trying to find the right formula. Only recently BBC annonunced its ’s social video on demand service –  iPlayer, and U.S. cable company Comcast is bringing a new site Tunerfish, that will enable users to share […]

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